What Is Eating Gilbert Grape?
In the small but eventful world of Gilbert Grape, emergencies are a natural state. His younger brother, Arnie, has a way of climbing the town water tower and forgetting how to get back down. His mother, who weighs 500 pounds, spends days at a time just sitting on the sofa. His boss, who runs the local grocery store, is under threat from the big new supermarket on the edge of town, which has live lobsters in a tank – something the folks in Endora, Iowa (Population 1,091) can’t stop talking about. Gilbert Grape is more or less equal to these challenges, but life is not easy for him. What helps is the small town itself. In a big city, we sense, the Grape family would be isolated and dysfunctional, but in Endora, where everybody knows everybody and Gilbert fits right in, life is more possible, and the family is at least quasifunctional. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape makes of these materials an enchanting movie, a story of people who aren’t misfits only because they don’t see themselves that way. Director Lasse Hallström and his fine cast have endowed the story with a good deal of behavioral truth and beguilingly unstressed comedy that expresses an engagingly bemused view of life.
Best Foreign Film Guild of German Art House Cinemas Best Supporting Actor National Board of Review USA
19th Festival on Wheels
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